However, jurors unanimously decided Monsanto's glyphosate-based Roundup caused Johnson's cancer and Monsanto failed to warn of the health hazard, citing the International Agency for Research on Cancer listing of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, which also prompted California's Environmental Protection Agency to list it as well. Two years after the first incident, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, right, reacts while attorney Brent Wisner, not seen, speaks about his terminal condition during the Monsanto trial in San Francisco.
"On the basis of scientific conclusions, the views of worldwide regulatory authorities and the decades-long practical experience with glyphosate use, Bayer is convinced that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer", the company said in a statement.More news: Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur English Premier League Live Streaming
After the trial, Scott Partridge, Monsanto's vice president for global strategy, said the documents had been "taken completely out of context", according to The Guardian. It is appealing the California jury's verdict. Monsanto genetically engineered the DNA of corn, soybeans and other crops to make them resistant to Roundup; it now makes more revenue from seeds and traits than it does from herbicide.
But the World Health Organization's cancer arm had in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans" and earlier this month Brazil suspended the use of the chemical for 30 days while it weighs health concerns. Responding to the court judgement, a company spokesperson expressed sympathy for Johnson and his family but added, "We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others". He applied large volumes of the herbicide to school grounds, sometimes winding up covered in the product due to heavy winds.
A statement by the United Kingdom government said its "priority is the protection of people and the environment", adding that decisions on the use of pesticides "should be based on a careful scientific assessment of the risks".More news: Demi Lovato to Remain in Rehab for 'Several Months' in Extensive Program
Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.
Johnson declined to answer reporters' questions. "Hopefully this thing will get the attention it needs", Johnson, 46, said after the verdict.
Shares in Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $63 billion in June, fell more than 10 per cent. In response to the verdict, Bayer's stocks have fallen by 12 percent today (August 13) in Frankfurt, reports Bloomberg.More news: U.S. compound boy 'died in ritual ceremony'
Following an eight-week trial, the jury ordered the agricultural multi-national, recently bought over by Germany's Bayer, to pay $250m in punitive damages, which with other costs bring the total award figure to nearly $290m.